Here’s a Father’s Day present that will cheer up your dad or your husband: Taking Sex Differences Seriously by Steven Rhoads. Dr. Rhoads, a Princeton grad who has taught public policy at the University of Virginia for more than 30 years, has assembled the biological and sociological research to prove that all that rad-feminist propaganda about gender differences being just a matter of “social construction” is so much hogwash. We at the IWF sponsored a conversation with Dr. Rhoads on Capitol Hill yesterday and we got an overflow crowd eager to hear the erudite and personable scholar explain why so many mothers quit good jobs to stay home with their children, why even Swedish dads don’t take paternity leave unless they have to, and why the husbands of women in high-stress professions don’t live as long as other husbands.
Here’s an excerpt from the Amazon blurb on Dr. Rhoads’ book (which is selling briskly, by the way):
“Because men and women are virtually interchangeable, so the argument goes, men should do an equal share of domestic and childrearing work so that women can compete equally outside the home.
“There’s only one problem with this beguiling vision of androgyny. Whatever we might like to believe, as Dr. Steven Rhoads shows, sex distinctions remain a deeply rooted part of human nature. In ‘Taking Sex Differences Seriously,’ Rhoads assembles a wealth of scientific evidence showing that these differences are ‘hardwired’ into our biology. They range from the subtle (men get a chemical high from winning while women get one from nursing) to the profound (women with high testosterone levels are more promiscuous, more competitive, and more conflicted about having children than those with average levels.)
“Rhoads explores disparities in aggression and dominance, in sexuality and nurturing. He shows how denial of these differences has helped to create the sexual revolution, fatherless families, and policies such as Title IX, and the call for universal day care. But while insisting that we must take sex differences seriously, Rhoads also advocates discouraging some natural tendencies, like men’s desire for irresponsible sex, and encouraging others, like women’s greater interest and talent in caring for babies.”
Of course, the doctrinaire feminists won’t listen to the hard data of biology. In this month’s American Prospect (thanks, Arts & Letters Daily, for the link), fem-mom Anne Crittenden argues one more time that women’s problems could be solved if only we had federally funded day-care and husbands could be shamed into doing more household chores. It’s a paen of praise for The Mommy Myth, in which university professors Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels tell the rest of us how we ought to live. Writes Crittenden:
“One valuable chapter explains why we have never had decent child care in this country (‘dumb men, stupid choices’). All in all, The Mommy Myth is a healthy indicator that feminists are sick and tired of being beaten up on and are fighting back.”
Crittendon hopes that more mothers in the professional world will try to “transform ideas and institutions” (such as marriage) instead of cutting back on work to be with their children. Rhoads tells us why such a utopian transformation is unlikely ever to take place.